Can we finally kill the page view?

Having been involved in online advertising in some shape or form for 14 years now, I’ve come to a realization: everyone is trying to rip each other off. That’s right, everyone is out to pull a fast one on each other, and it all boils down to one simple metric: pageviews.

Publishers think they can game their pageviews by using silly tricks like making me generate 50+ pageviews just to see a bikini slideshow (don’t judge me, it was research…). Of those 50 page views I’m responsible, how many ads do you think I saw? Likely several hundred. How many of those ads do you think I remember? How many of those ads do you think I clicked on? ZERO. What did it cost the advertisers? assuming a $10/CPM on those ads, it cost them $.05 to be a blur in my memory.

Advertisers are also responsible for this global tomfoolery being propagated. They aren’t demanding quality time in front of their prospective customer eyeballs. Sure your eCPM is cheaper now than it was 10 years ago, but is that really relevant to your marketing metrics if you’re not getting the same conversions/sales from these ads? They should be looking at what MSNBC.com is doing and take note. MSNBC has killed pageviews in favor of time on site/sessions. Its simple enough these days to do it, so lets start shifting our thinking on ads.

Since its not enough to complain and not propose a solution, I suggest we start looking at metrics that involve time exposed per user. Own a user throughout their browsing session. I’m pretty sure they already have these called takeovers, but now lets charge by time in front of a user. Now I know this argument isn’t new, since myspace was notorious for this a few years ago.

I feel like this could lead to higher revenues for the publishers, as well as higher ROI for the advertisers.

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